Watou

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The St. Bavo Church [nl
] and cemetery Church in Watou.jpg
The St. Bavo Church  [ nl ] and cemetery

Watou is a village in the Belgian province of West Flanders and a district of the town of Poperinge. The village has a population of 1,900. It lies on the border with France. The hamlet Abele is part of Watou. Poperinge is situated on the border with the hamlet of Sint-Jan-ter-Biezen  [ nl ].

West Flanders Province of Belgium

West Flanders is the westernmost province of the Flemish Region, in Belgium. It is the only coastal Belgian province, facing the North Sea to the north. It has land borders with the Netherlands to the northeast, the Flemish province of East Flanders to the east, the Walloon province of Hainaut in the southeast and France to the west. Its capital is Bruges (Brugge). Other important cities are Kortrijk in the south and Ostend on the coast, Roeselare and Ypres (Ieper). The province has an area of 3,125 km2 which is divided into eight administrative districts (arrondissementen) containing 64 municipalities.

Poperinge Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Poperinge is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders, Flemish Region, and has a history going back to medieval times. The municipality comprises the city of Poperinge proper and surrounding villages. The area is famous for its hops and lace.

Abele (village) human settlement in Belgium

Abele is a small village or hamlet in the city of Poperinge, in the Belgian province of West-Flanders. The village is located on the territory of Poperinge proper and its "deelgemeente" Watou, but is also partly located on French territory. Abele has about 600 inhabitants, of whom about 100 are French. The main street coincides with the border between Belgium and France, so houses located on different sides of the street are located in a different country.

Contents

Art

Every summer, from June until September, the Watou Arts Festival takes place in this village close to the French border. Poets, visual artists and upcoming talent settle in and create high level art throughout the village. Watou offers special locations as exhibition spaces, like a former monastery, an old farmhouse, school or the cellar of a brewery. The interaction between surprising spaces with sublime contemporary art and poetry provides each year a unique art experience.

Other

St. Bernardus Brewery [1] and Brouwerij Van Eecke  [ nl ] are located in Watou.

St. Bernardus is a brewery in Watou, Belgium.

The St. Bavo Church  [ nl ] dates partly from the 12th century.

The Watou church and cemetery is located next to Watouplein, the square in the center of the village. During World War I, called the Great War in Belgium, Watou and its surroundings were a quiet resting area behind the lines. No armed conflicts took place here, so the church only saw a few war funerals between April 1915 (Second Battle of Ypres) and November 1918 (when the war ended).

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as, "the war to end all wars," it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Second Battle of Ypres A battle in 1915 during the First World War

During World War I, the Second Battle of Ypres was fought from 22 April – 25 May 1915 for control of the strategic Flemish town of Ypres in western Belgium. The First Battle of Ypres had been fought the previous autumn. The Second Battle of Ypres was the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front. It also marked the first time a former colonial force defeated a European power in Europe.

Armistice Day commemoration on November 11 of the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany in 1918

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. But, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the US First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, only ending at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.

See also

Beers brewed in Watou

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References

  1. Emma Thomson (7 Aug 2012). "Flanders: Northern Belgium: Brussels, Bruges and Beyond". Bradt Travel Guides. p. 48. Retrieved 1 July 2012.

Coordinates: 50°52′N2°37′E / 50.867°N 2.617°E / 50.867; 2.617